25 Jan 2022
Namibia’s premier agricultural lender, Agribank, spearheaded a stakeholder engagement event in Gobabis, Omaheke region, bringing together
all agriculture role players in the region, to consult and engage on how best
to serve farmers in the cattle country. The event took place on Wednesday, 19 January
Farmers’ union representatives formed part of the engagement, and presented their challenges, while also proposing solutions. Among others, farmers indicated that due to drought, farmers are now disintegrated as each farmer is now focused on the survival of his/her farm, resulting in less peer-to-peer interactions. As such, farmers are proposing for Agribank to champion events for farmers to come together, and share information on addressing various challenges they face.
It was further proposed for Agribank to provide certificate of attendance and/or accreditation to farmers, after attending farming trainings facilitated by Agribank. According to farmers, this will help when applying for resettlement farms at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.
Farmers also encouraged synergies between all key stakeholder in the region, to ensure that bottlenecks in the process of serving farmers are addressed from all angles. During the engagement, stakeholders presented their respective roles in the process of developing and promoting agriculture in the country. Additionally, Agribank loan application processes and requirements also featured.
On behalf of Agribank, Mr. Regan Mwazi, Executive Manager Marketing and Customer Strategy responded to some of the issues raised and praised the institutions for attending and providing inputs. “It is only through stakeholder engagements such as this one where local solution to local challenges can be provided and opportunities identified for exploitation to the benefit of the farming industry,” he stated. Mr. Mwazi also urged farmers to be organised in order to be heard and take seriously the information provided to them through various platforms in order to improve their respective farming techniques.
Commenting on the engaged, Emilie Abraham, Manager: Horticulture Market Development, Namibia Agronomic Board, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting, noting that the event helped in providing context on the responsibilities of individual stakeholders, while also clarifying such functions in the chain of helping farmers, and growing the sector.
Recently, Agribank’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Dr Raphael Karuaihe announced that stakeholder engagements will be at the core of his 100 days in office. As such, more events of similar nature will be conducted at the auspices of Agribank.
The following institutions were represented: Omaheke Regional Council, Farmers Unions and Associations, Namibia Agronomic Board, Meat Board of Namibia, NAMPOL Stock Theft Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Witvlei Village Council, and the Namibia Biomass Industry Group.
Mr. Regan Mwazi (in blue), Executive Manager Marketing and Customer representing Agribank during the engagements.
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